ABBR - Chapter 20

The last time Xu Chuanchuan had interacted with Murong Shi was when Murong Shi had a fever, and Xu Chuanchuan had delivered water and medicine to her. However, because of a difference in station, the two didn't have any further interaction afterward. So, Xu Chuanchuan failed to understand how she had offended Murong Shi.

Did Murong Shi gain omniscience and find out I was badmouthing her on Weibo?

Unless she found out that I am writing novels and my pen name…

But it should be impossible for either of these things to happen! I'd rather believe she's on her period than that!

However, even if she's emotionally unstable, why did she have to single me out?

Looking at her stern and scary expression just now, I'll probably get into big trouble if I handle this poorly.

But… I still have a lot of work to do… On what basis must I get water for her?

On what basis!?

Xu Chuanchuan never stopped complaining in her mind throughout the process of getting water from the pantry. However, despite her frustration and complaints, she dared not go against Murong Shi's will.

Hah… On the basis that she's my boss's daughter, of course. Comparisons truly are odious.

Forget it. At worst, I'll get a scolding.

After pouring some warm water into a sterilized mug, Xu Chuanchuan timidly made her way to the general manager's office. When she arrived in front of the office, she suddenly began hesitating.

When Murong Shi slammed the office door shut just now, Xu Chuanchuan had heard the sound all the way from the pantry. What if she entered the office when Murong Shi's anger had yet to dissipate, and Murong Shi splashed the mug of water onto her face?

Xu Chuanchuan ended up standing idly in front of the office for half a minute until a male colleague passed by and greeted her, "Little Xu, what are you doing standing here?"

The door in front of her was made of wood. No matter how dense and thick the wooden door was, there was no way it could isolate sound completely. Realizing that she had just been sabotaged, Xu Chuanchuan gave her colleague a dry smile and said, "It's nothing…"

She then raised her free hand and knocked on the door.

Knock, knock, knock—

"Come in."

Taking a deep breath, Xu Chuanchuan twisted the doorknob and entered the office. She then said, "Miss Murong, your water."

It was cold and quiet inside the spacious office. Murong Shi sat behind her computer, blue light illuminating her face and giving her an icier look. Her eyelashes moved slightly, but she did not speak. Instead, she pointed her chin at her desk.

Xu Chuanchuan subconsciously tightened her grip on the mug and slowly approached the desk.

However, when Xu Chuanchuan settled the mug onto the desk, she dared not release her grip over it or push it over to Murong Shi. she was afraid this cup of warm water would end up on her face.

After looking around nervously, Xu Chuanchuan asked, "Is Linda not in today?"

Murong Shi swept her gaze across Xu Chuanchuan briefly before responding indifferently, "No."

Murong Shi had sent Linda to help Aunt Lian apply for a new ID card. Otherwise, she wouldn't have ordered Xu Chuanchuan to get water for her.

Xu Chuanchuan blinked, and she accidentally met with Murong Shi's cloudy eyes. After moving her gaze away, she got straight to the point and asked, "What did you want to see me for?"

In response, Murong Shi beckoned with her hand and said, "Give me the water."

Xu Chuanchuan tensed up and thought to herself, Is she planning to moisten her throat before scolding me?

Xu Chuanchuan didn't want to give the water to Murong Shi. However, she couldn't just hold onto the mug forever, either.

Left with no better choice, Xu Chuanchuan slowly pushed the mug across the desk. When Murong Shi's hand made contact with the mug, she subconsciously took a step back.

Although Xu Chuanchuan was discreet in her action, Murong Shi still noticed what the other party had done. Immediately, Murong Shi's complexion turned uglier, and she sneered as she asked, "Afraid I'll splash you with this?"

Honestly, yes. After all, you do have a history…

Although Xu Chuanchuan thought as such in her mind, she dared not voice her thoughts. She also couldn't bring herself to laugh, so she dryly explained, "It's, uh, table manners. It'll be rude of me to stand so close while you're drinking…"

Murong Shi's eyes remained calm. After checking the water's temperature with the tip of her tongue, she took a shallow sip.

The water was light and tasteless.

Murong Shi immediately lost interest in the water. She'd rather have a cup of coffee than continue drinking this. Setting the cup down, she looked up and quietly examined the woman standing in front of her.

Xu Chuanchuan's hair was a bit disheveled and fluffy, with a few strands sticking out. By the looks of it, she must've just washed her hair last night. She didn't have any bags under her eyes, so she probably wasn't staying up late recently. Her lips had turned white, seemingly being frightened by something.

Murong Shi noticed Xu Chuanchuan was constantly dodging her gaze. Xu Chuanchuan's cheeks were also slightly puffed up, and those ignorant of her actual facial features would think this was a result of her wisdom teeth growing out. Overall, Murong Shi found Xu Chuanchuan looking somewhat dumb and a little...cute?

This scene reminded Murong Shi of the side photo she saw posted on a certain someone's Weibo account.

Murong Shi had started growing irritated ever since Sun An had questioned her at dinner yesterday. Afterward, Jiang Shaohua had further exacerbated her annoyance. Meanwhile, the moment she came across Xu Chuanchuan just now was the straw that broke the camel's back.

Rage had overtaken her mind.

To further convince herself that she could order Xu Chuanchuan around without feeling guilty, Murong Shi had used the time when Xu Chuanchuan was fetching her water to log into Weibo and read the post where Xu Chuanchuan had complained about her being "grumpy" and a "She-Devil." However, unexpectedly, she found that Xu Chuanchuan had deleted the post already.

Apart from that, Xu Chuanchuan also sent her a message on Saturday night.

I Love Malatang: "Tycoon, don't scare me. I'm timid [Aggrieved]."

Murong Shi sneered when she read this message.

However, after seeing Xu Chuanchuan's lowered posture, Murong Shi could no longer find it within herself to vent her anger on the other party. While irregularly tapping her finger on her desk, Murong Shi asked, "Are there many people in the company badmouthing me behind my back?"

"Uh…" Xu Chuanchuan briefly opened her mouth before closing it immediately. Her eyebrows also went up and down, her expression looking somewhat tangled.

Did she drag me here so early in the morning because of this? But why me? I don't want to be known as a snitch and bootlicker. I only wish to live in peace…

Unfortunately for Xu Chuanchuan, Murong Shi had taken on a domineering posture that implied that she couldn't leave until she spoke. Hence, after composing herself, Xu Chuanchuan lied, "I don't know."

The ear-piercing tapping sounds abruptly stopped. Murong Shi stopped tapping her desk. Instead, she began leisurely spinning her pen one round after another, seemingly doing her best to control a certain emotion within her.

Xu Chuanchuan's nerves tensed up as she observed Murong Shi's actions.

Fortunately, Murong Shi didn't torture Xu Chuanchuan for too long. Clamping down on the pen with two fingers, Murong Shi leaned forward, gazed at Xu Chuanchuan, and asked, "Have you ever badmouthed me behind my back, then?"

Boom—

Murong Shi tossed another bomb at Xu Chuanchuan.

Xu Chuanchuan felt her scalp numbing at this question. In this situation, she couldn't help but think back to the warning "There Exists No Poem in a Girl's Feelings" had given her.

Dear Tycoon, are you perhaps a prophet?

If Xu Chuanchuan had known she would face such an interrogation today, she would've called in sick even if it meant getting a pay cut.

However, it was too late for regrets now. All she could do was pray for herself.

Xu Chuanchuan dared not lift her head. Gritting her teeth, she meekly said, "I...complained a little...in private…"

Xu Chuanchuan suddenly felt fortunate that she was never one to join groups. When her colleagues had gathered to gossip, she would always stay as far away from them as possible. Either that or she would pretend to be mute and deaf. At most, she would only vent her complaints to Ange or her readers since she would be safe so long as she didn't expose any real information.

Xu Chuanchuan dared not confess about the Weibo posts she made to Murong Shi. She had a strong suspicion that once she did, her end would come.

While Xu Chuanchuan wasn't afraid of getting a pay cut, she couldn't be certain that Murong Shi wouldn't fire her.

However, for the sake of keeping her job, Xu Chuanchuan decided to go out on a limb.

Before Murong Shi exploded, Xu Chuanchuan lifted her head and said eagerly, "Actually, what I said wasn't exactly badmouthing. I just think that you're more of a…well, a cold belle…"

A shadow of a smile appeared on Murong Shi's face.

However, from Xu Chuanchuan's perspective, this spurious smile was even worse than if Murong Shi had outright scolded her. Goosebumps covering her body, Xu Chuanchuan lowered her head and said, "I-I'm sorry! I was wrong! I won't ever do it again!"

Murong Shi began tapping her task once more, though her focus was placed entirely on the face of the person in front of her.

The term "cold belle" held a completely different meaning from "grumpy" and "She-Devil." The former was a neutral term, while the latter two were derogatory terms. If Murong Shi weren't afraid of exposing herself, she would've continued with the interrogation.

Fortunately, Xu Chuanchuan had quickly acknowledged her mistake and deleted her Weibo post already. Seeing Xu Chuanchuan's sincerity, Murong Shi decided to let her off the hook.

"How is your penmanship?"

The change in topic to penmanship caught Xu Chuanchuan entirely off guard.

Xu Chuanchuan idly stared at Murong Shi's expressionless face for a moment. However, she couldn't tell whether the other party was still angry at her or not. Because of her jittery mood, she ended up forgetting to speak modestly, and she simply nodded and said, "My penmanship is not bad."

"Heh—"

If not for the short distance between them, Xu Chuanchuan would have wondered if she had hallucinated that mocking laugh…

Murong Shi accurately threw her pen into the pen barrel. She then leisurely interlocked her fingers and said, "Since you're confident in your penmanship, you should be good at writing essays."

Xu Chuanchuan was confused by Murong Shi's words for a moment. She couldn't figure out what the other party was trying to do. However, regardless of Murong Shi's intentions, it didn't seem like she would be getting fired today.

After calming her heart, Xu Chuanchuan felt that her previous words sounded too arrogant and might bring unnecessary trouble to herself. So, she added, "Actually, I—"

However, Murong Shi didn't let Xu Chuanchuan finish as she interrupted, "Since you're so confident, write something for me."

"What do you want me to write?"

Raising an eyebrow, Murong Shi said, "Go back and write an essay. It must have at least a thousand words. Hand it to me by Friday."

"W-What kind of essay?"

"One that praises me."

Xu Chuanchuan: "..."

Is this a punishment for talking badmouthing her?

But isn't this punishment a little bit too...perverse?

Hellscythe's Notes:

Hihi, we have accumulated 300$ on ABBR's patreon already! You know what that means? Because I sure don't! Increased release rate? What's that? Is that edible? I'm not joking. I'm serious.

I'm joking. I'm serious.

Anyways, we've hit our second donation goal, so ABBR is now going to have 9 releases/week:
Monday ~ Friday - 1 release/day
Saturday & Sunday - 2 releases/day

This change will take effect immediately, so expect to see double releases on Saturday as well!

To further incentivize you all to fund my gacha addiction, I have created two more goals:
Tier 3 - 500$ - +1 release per week (10 releases per week)
Tier 4 - 700$ - +1 release per week (11 releases per week)

If you would like to support the novel, read ahead (up to 20 releases), and support my goal of getting Keqing to max constellations, please visit my patreon and give me your money!

Patreon Link: https://www.patreon.com/hellscythe

Also, if I hadn't said it before, I'll say it now. Thank you. Thank you very much for supporting ABBR. :)

-Hellscythe, 10th June 2021

Translated by Hellscythe. Edited by Grammarly.